Sales Taxes

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Sales and Use Tax

Who must file

The state general sales tax is payable by users, consumers, lessees, and persons receiving services taxable under the law. If a seller or lessor qualifies as a dealer under the definition of the term at R.S. 47:301(4), they must apply for a sales tax certificate, collect the proper taxes from customers, and file returns with the Department of Revenue. A seller or lessor will qualify as a dealer subject to tax collection requirements if they lease, rent, or sell tangible personal property in the state, furnish services in the state that are taxable under the statute, hold property in the state for resale, maintain a business location in the state, operate in the state through full-time or part-time resident or nonresident salesmen or agents, maintain an inventory in the state of tangible personal property for lease or rental, or deliver in a vehicle owned or operated by the seller.

Rate of tax

As of October 1, 1996, the four percent state sales tax rate consists of 3.97 percent Louisiana state sales tax, and .03 percent Louisiana Tourism Promotion District sales tax. Telecommunications and sales of prepaid telephone cards and prepaid telephone authorization numbers are subject to a three percent tax rate. From July 1, 1986 through June 30, 2002, certain traditionally exempt transactions were subject to state sales tax ranging from one to four percent.

Date payment and return due

Sales tax returns and tax payments are due on or before the 20th of the month following the close of the calendar month or calendar quarter of the reporting period.

Basis of tax

The state general sales tax is due on the sales price [R.S. 47:301(13)] for transactions subject to the sales tax and on the cost price [R.S. 47:301(3)] for transactions subject to use tax. The taxable base includes the total amount for which tangible personal property is sold, including any services rendered by the seller in connection with the sale, the gross amount charged for the lease or rental of tangible personal property, and the gross amount charged for taxable services.

The state general sales and use tax is levied on the following transactions:

  1. The sale of tangible personal property at retail in Louisiana;
  2. The use, consumption, distribution, or storage for use or consumption in Louisiana of any tangible personal property;
  3. The lease or rental within Louisiana of any item or article of tangible personal property; and,
  4. The sale of services as defined in the statutes under R.S. 47:301(14), which include the following:
    1. the furnishing of rooms by hotels;
    2. the sale of admissions to places of amusement and to athletic and recreational events,
    3. the furnishing of privileges of access to amusement, entertainment, athletic, or recreational facilities;
    4. the furnishing of storage or parking privileges by auto hotels and parking lots;
    5. the furnishing of printing and overprinting;
    6. the furnishing of laundry, cleaning, pressing, and dyeing services;
    7. the furnishing of cold-storage space and the preparation of property for such storage;
    8. the furnishing of repairs to tangible personal property; and
    9. the furnishing of telecommunications services.
  5. Telecommunications and sales of prepaid telephone cards and prepaid telephone authorization numbers are subject to a three percent tax rate.

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Electronic Filing Required For Dealers Who Lease or Rent Motor Vehicles

Act 11 of the 2008 Second Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature enacted Revised Statute 48:77 to dedicate the sales tax collections from motor vehicle leases or rentals to the Transportation Trust Fund effective July 1, 2008.

Because this information is not separately reported on the sales tax return, Form R-1029, and the return has insufficient space to add the lines needed to report the motor vehicle leases and rentals separately, the Department of Revenue has adopted Emergency Rule LAC 61:III.1511 to require dealers that collect sales tax on motor vehicle leases or rentals to file their sales tax returns electronically using a special sales tax return that includes extra lines for reporting motor vehicle leases and rentals.

R.S. 47:1520(A)(1)(d) authorizes the secretary to require electronic filing if the report is required for dedicated fund distribution. Paragraph A(2) provides that the electronic filing requirement be implemented by administrative rule. Subsection B contains penalty provisions for failure to comply.

For the purpose of the electronic filing mandate, a motor vehicle is defined as any self-propelled device that is used to transport people or property on the public highways. Dealers that collect sales tax on motor vehicle leases or rentals will be required to file their state sales tax returns electronically effective for the July 2008 sales tax return, which is due August 20, 2008. Dealers have the following two options for electronic filing:

  1. Electronic filing via the Department’s Louisiana Taxpayer Access Point (LaTAP) system, or
  2. Electronic filing using one of the software vendors listed on the Department’s website.

Dealers who use the LaTAP system will be given step-by-step instructions for setting up electronic filing as a motor vehicle lease or rental dealer.

  • Gross proceeds from motor vehicle leases and rentals, which include taxable and exempt transactions, should be reported on Line 3(a).
  • All other leases, rentals and services should be reported on line 3(b).
  • Exempt motor vehicle leases and rentals to federal, state, or local governmental entities should be reported on Schedule A, Line 26-A.
  • All other sales and use transactions should be reported as usual.

No Change To The Automobile Rental Tax

R.S. 47:551 imposes a three percent automobile rental tax (2½ percent state tax and ½ percent local tax) on automobiles rented in Louisiana for periods of 29 days or less. For the purpose of the tax, automobiles are defined as vehicles designed primarily to transport passengers and their baggage, including vans that are rated for less than nine passengers. The tax does not apply to pickup trucks. The automobile rental tax is reported on Form R-1329.

This tax is separate from the four percent state sales tax imposed by R.S. 47:301(7) on leases and rentals of tangible personal property, which includes motor vehicles. The sales tax is reported on the sales tax return, Form R-1029.

R.S. 48:77 dedicates the sales tax collections from motor vehicle leases or rentals to the Transportation Trust Fund and is not related to the automobile rental tax.

Questions concerning this electronic filing mandate should be directed to the Taxpayer Services Division, Sales Tax Section at (225) 219-7356 or by email to sales.inquiries@la.gov.

Contractor Fee and Bond for Nonresidents

Who must file

Nonresident contractors and subcontractors who operate in Louisiana and who enter into contracts in which the total contract price is $3,000 or more, must register each contract with the Department of Revenue.

Rate of fee

The fee is $10 for each contract job in excess of $3,000.

Bond requirement

Nonresident contractors who are entering into a contract job in Louisiana in excess of $3,000 are required to file a bond, or deposit other sureties with the Department of Revenue for each separate contract. The bond amount shall be as required by the Department, but no less than $1,000.

Return requirements

Within 30 days of completion of the contract the contractor must provide the Department with a complete and accurate accounting of all state sales and use taxes due on the prescribed forms. Sales and use taxes due the state must be paid with the accounting and any overpayments will be refunded within 15 days.

Local registration

Contractors are required to register with the central collection agency of the parish and obtain a certificate certifying that all requirements for surety bonds in that parish have been met.

Date fee and bond due

The fee and bond are due before any work can begin on the contract. The Department will issue a certificate to the contractor documenting that bonding requirements have been met. No building permits, licenses, or certificates will be issued by any state or local authorities until the contractor has shown proof of bonding from the Department of Revenue.

Additional requirement

Nonresident contractors are also authorized and required to withhold payments from their subcontractors to guarantee that all state and local taxes due from the subcontractors will be paid.

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Automobile Rental Tax

Who must file

Every dealer who rents automobiles in Louisiana for periods of 29 days or less must collect and remit the tax in addition to any other applicable tax, including sales tax. The definition of automobiles encompasses all vehicles designed primarily to transport passengers and their baggage, including vans that are rated for less than nine passengers. The tax is not applicable to the rental of pickup trucks.

The tax is effective August 1, 1990 through June 30, 2012.

Rate of tax

Three percent (2 1/2 percent state tax and 1/2 percent local tax)

Date payment and return due

The return is due on the 20th day of the month following the close of the reporting period. All of the administrative provisions that apply to sales tax, including interest, penalty, and vendor's compensation, also apply to this tax.

Basis of tax

The tax applies to automobile rentals of 29 days or less, with certain exceptions:

  1. An automobile rented by an insurance company or an automobile repair dealer as a replacement vehicle for a customer's vehicle that is being repaired, or an automobile rented by an individual as a replacement for their own vehicle that is being repaired.
  2. An automobile rented for 30 days or more. However, a long-term contract that is cancelled and results in a term of less than 30 days will be subject to the tax.
  3. An automobile that is rented with a driver furnished by the rentor.

The tax is due and reported for the month during which the rental proceeds are collected from the rentee, regardless of the date of actual rental.

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NOEHA - New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority - Food and Beverage

Who must file

Any food service establishment having food and/or beverage sales in Orleans Parish and the New Orleans International Airport must file a return. Those food service establishments having $200,000 or more in taxable food and/or beverage sales in the preceding year must collect the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority tax (NOEHA). The Department will notify qualifying food service establishments each December what rate to collect for the coming year.

A food service establishment means any fixed or mobile business in which food or beverages are prepared for sale or service either on or off the premises. Examples of these establishments are restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias, luncheonettes, grills, tearooms, soda fountains, ice cream shops, taverns, bars, cocktail lounges, roadside stands, hot dog wagons, mobile canteens, grocery or convenience stores featuring prepared deli items, theater and bowling alley snack bars, or any other such place in which food or beverages are prepared and sold for consumption either on or off the premises.

Food service establishment also means any establishments or operators who sells or serves manufactured foods or beverages that they did not prepare, but provided facilities for consumption on the premises. Examples are theater and bowling alley snack bars that sell only manufactured snacks, such as candy bars, potato chips, and soft drinks.

Only food service establishments that sell or serve food and beverages in Orleans Parish and its airport are subject to the tax, regardless of where the food preparation is done. For example, a caterer in Jefferson Parish who delivers food to a customer in Orleans Parish must collect the tax on that sale. A business that prepares food in Orleans Parish, but sells or serves it only outside Orleans Parish or the airport, does not collect the tax.

Rate of tax

For sales $200,000 to $499,999---.5%. For sales over $500,000---.75%

Which foods and beverages are taxable

Except for foods and beverages that are for preparation and consumption in the home, all prepared or manufactured foods and beverages sold or served by qualified food service establishments in Orleans Parish or its airport are taxable regardless of where the food and beverages were prepared or manufactured.

Meals furnished to the staff, inmates, patients, or students of educational, medical, religious, or mental institutions and occasional meals furnished to others are exempt from the tax. However, if any of these organizations have facilities that are open to the general public, they are not exempt.

All food or beverage sales paid for with USDA food stamps or WIC vouchers are exempt from the tax.

Date tax due

Monthly returns must be filed on the 20th day of the month following the month being reported. Returns are filed with the Department of Revenue, which is the collection agency for the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority (NOEHA).

All food service establishments are required to file monthly returns with the Department of Revenue. A food service establishment’s total food and beverage sales for the year will be used to determine next year’s NOEHA collection rate.

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NOEHA - New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority - Hotel Occupancy and Additional Paid Occupancy

Who must file

Any establishment in Orleans or Jefferson parish that is engaged in the business of furnishing or providing rooms intended or designed for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes to transient guests, if the establishment consists of six or more guest rooms whether they are under one roof or consist of separate structures, cabins, or cottages must file a tax return.

Rate of tax

In Orleans and Jefferson parishes:

  • 4% - Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District Room Occupancy Tax

In Orleans Parish only:

  • 3% - Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Tax
  • 50 cents - per night for hotels with 10 to 299 rooms
  • $1.00 - per night for hotels with 300 to 999 rooms
  • $2.00 - per night for hotels with 1,000 or more rooms

Date tax due

Returns and payments must be filed or transmitted to the Secretary of Revenue on or before the 20th of the month following the close of each reporting period.

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Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District imposes a four percent hotel occupancy tax in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes.Constitution Ancillaries, Article 14, § 47(M) authorizes the District to impose the tax by ordinance adopted by its Board of Commissioners and permits the District to contract with another entity for collection of the tax. Currently, LDR collects the under a contract with the District.

The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District Hotel Occupancy tax is in lieu of two percent state sales tax levied on hotel/motel room rentals by R.S. 47:302. The two percent levied by R.S. 47:321 and 331 and R.S. 51:1286 still applies.

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